Can dogs have asthma? Symptoms, causes & treatment

Chances are you’ve heard of asthma and find yourself wondering can dogs have asthma. Did you know it’s not just humans who can suffer from this illness? That’s right, our beloved canine companions can also experience the effects of asthma—and it might be more common than you think. In this blog post, we’ll explore what causes asthma in dogs, how to spot the signs, and treatments available to help manage the symptoms of doggy asthma. Don’t miss out on learning how to give your pup the best care possible!

What is asthma in dogs?

Before answering the question can dogs have asthma? We need to know what asthma in dogs is.

Asthma in dogs is an allergic reaction that causes a dog’s airways to become inflamed, making it difficult for them to breathe. Just like humans, asthma can vary from mild to severe and can range from occasional flare-ups to chronic issues.

What is asthma in dogs?

Can dogs have asthma?

Can dogs have asthma? Yes, dogs can and do suffer from asthma, just like humans. While some breeds are predisposed to the condition due to their smaller airways—such as Poodles, Chihuahuas, Shih Tzus, Bulldogs and other “flat-faced” breeds—any dog of any breed can experience asthma.

What are the symptoms of asthma in dogs?

  • Wheezing
  • Coughing
  • Difficulty breathing or panting heavily
  • Exercise intolerance
  • Open-mouth breathing (panting with the mouth wide open, instead of the normal closed-mouth panting)
  • Rapid respiratory rate (more than 40 breaths per minute)
  • Increased mucus production
What are the symptoms of asthma in dogs?

What causes asthma in dogs?

  • Allergens: Doggy asthma is often triggered by environmental allergens like pollen, dust mites, mold or mildew.
  • Stress: Some dogs may experience asthma flare-ups when they are stressed or anxious.
  • Smoke and other irritants: Air pollution, smoke, fumes from cleaning products and other air irritants can cause a reaction in dogs with asthma.
  • Certain medications: Some drugs, such as corticosteroids and beta-blockers, can also trigger an asthma attack in some dogs.
  • Diet: Studies have shown that some dogs may be at greater risk for developing asthma if they are fed diets high in sugar and other processed ingredients.

How is asthma diagnosed in dogs?

If you think your pup may have asthma, it’s important to take them to the vet for a proper diagnosis. Your vet will likely perform a physical exam and may recommend blood tests or chest X-rays to confirm the diagnosis. They may also suggest an allergy test if they suspect environmental allergies are contributing to your dog’s asthma symptoms.

How is asthma diagnosed in dogs?

How is asthma in dogs treated?

Treatment for doggy asthma will depend on the severity of your dog’s symptoms, so it’s important to talk to your vet about the best option for your pup. Common treatments include:

  • Medication: Your vet may prescribe oral or inhaled medications to help keep your pup’s symptoms under control.
  • Allergen Avoidance: You can reduce your pup’s exposure to known triggers by limiting their outings when air quality is poor, keeping them away from cigarette smoke and cleaning products, and making sure their diet is as natural and unprocessed as possible.
  • Environmental Control: Keeping your home clean and free of dust and other irritants can help reduce flare-ups. This could include using a HEPA air filter, vacuuming regularly, and avoiding strong-smelling cleaning products.
  • Stress Management: If your pup’s asthma is stress-induced, it could help to provide them with a calming environment and activities like massage or dog yoga.

As you can see, dogs can have asthma—and just like humans, it’s important to take the necessary steps to keep our four-legged friends healthy and manage their symptoms. With proper care and the right medication, your pup can lead a happy life with minimal asthma flare-ups.

How can I help my dog avoid having an asthma attack?

Now that you know if can dogs have asthma, let’s find out how to help your dog avoid having an asthma attack.

  • Make sure to keep your pup away from known allergens like pollen, dust mites and mold.
  • Feeding a healthy diet that is free of processed ingredients can help reduce the risk of asthma flare-ups.
  • Make sure your pup is getting regular exercise, but don’t overdo it—particularly if your pup has asthma.
  • Stress can trigger asthma attacks in some dogs, so make sure they get enough rest to keep their stress levels low.
  • Visit the vet for regular check-ups to make sure your pup is healthy and that any underlying conditions are being managed properly.

By following these tips, you can help ensure your dog stays healthy and avoid asthma attacks.

How can I help my dog avoid having an asthma attack?

What are the long-term effects of asthma in dogs?

Chronic coughing or wheezing: If left untreated, asthma can cause long-term effects such as chronic coughing and wheezing.

  • Difficulty breathing: Asthma can lead to difficulty breathing that can be dangerous in the long run if not managed properly.
  • Exercise intolerance: Dogs with asthma may experience exercise intolerance due to their difficulty breathing during physical activity.
  • Weight gain: Many dogs with asthma don’t get enough exercise, which can lead to weight gain.
  • Lung damage: If not treated promptly, doggy asthma can cause irreversible lung damage that can be difficult (and expensive) to fix.

It’s important to keep your pup healthy and manage their asthma symptoms to prevent any of these long-term effects.

Can asthma in dogs be prevented?

Reduce exposure to allergens and air pollutants: This includes limiting outings when air quality is poor, avoiding areas with cigarette smoke or other strong-smelling substances, and keeping your home as clean as possible.

  • Feed a healthy diet: Choose natural ingredients instead of highly processed foods, which are known to be linked to asthma in some dogs.
  • Provide a calm environment: Make sure your pup has plenty of time for relaxation and exercise to help reduce their stress levels.
  • Get regular check-ups: Regular visits to the vet can ensure your pup is healthy and free from any underlying conditions that may trigger asthma flare-ups.

Although it’s impossible to prevent doggy asthma, these tips can help reduce the risk of flare-ups and keep your pup as healthy as possible.

Can asthma in dogs be prevented?


Overall, the results of this discussion on whether or not dogs can suffer from asthma are mixed. While it is an infrequent occurrence and most dogs are likely to be healthy their entire lives, there is still a genuine possibility that they could suffer from asthma later on in life. It’s important, then, to stay aware of your dog’s health by keeping up with regular check-ups at the vet and looking out for any signs of respiratory distress. Additionally, it’s also smart to take extra care if you have any type of breed predisposed to conditions like asthma or other respiratory ailments. Ultimately, being mindful of the potential risk can help catch any issues early and ensure your pup gets the proper treatment they need as soon as possible.


What does a dog with asthma sound like?

A dog with asthma may sound like they are having difficulty breathing, coughing or wheezing. They may also be panting heavily and have an increased respiratory rate (more than 40 breaths per minute).

Is it bad for dogs to have asthma?

Asthma attacks can pose a serious threat to your dog’s respiratory health. If your furry friend is struggling to breathe, it’s crucial to seek immediate veterinary attention. In many cases, veterinarians prescribe anti-inflammatory steroids to manage symptoms effectively and safeguard your dog’s lungs against long-term damage. Don’t wait until it’s too late – keep a watchful eye for signs of asthma and act quickly to keep your dog healthy.

Can dogs get seasonal asthma?

Yes, dogs can experience seasonal asthma. Allergens like pollen and dust mites are common triggers of doggy asthma attacks, so it’s important to take extra precautions in the spring and summer months when outdoor allergens are at their peak.

What are the best medications for treating asthma in dogs?

The best medications for treating doggy asthma will depend on your pup’s individual needs. Common treatments include oral or inhaled corticosteroids, bronchodilators (to help open up the airways), and antihistamines or immunosuppressants (to reduce inflammation).

Can asthma in dogs be cured?

Unfortunately, there is no cure for doggy asthma—but it can be managed with proper care and medication.

Can air purifiers help with asthma in dogs?

Air purifiers can help reduce the amount of airborne allergens and irritants that may trigger a doggy asthma attack. A HEPA air filter is ideal for pet owners, as it will trap particles like pollen, dust mites, mold spores and pet dander that can cause an allergic reaction in your pup. It’s important to change the filter regularly to ensure it is functioning properly. Furthermore, make sure to keep your home clean and free of dust and other irritants that could cause a reaction in dogs with asthma.

Do allergies cause asthma in dogs?

Yes, environmental allergens are one of the most common triggers of doggy asthma attacks.

Do dogs outgrow asthma?

Unfortunately, there is no way to predict if a dog will outgrow their asthma. While some dogs may experience milder symptoms as they age, it’s important to manage their condition with the help of your vet to ensure their respiratory health is protected in the long-term.

What is the difference between asthma and allergies in dogs?

Allergies are an immune system reaction to a foreign substance, such as pollen, dust mites or mold. Asthma is an inflammatory response to allergens and other triggers that causes the airways of the lungs to constrict, making it difficult for your pup to breathe. While allergies can lead to asthma attacks in some cases, not all allergies will cause asthma.

What can I do at home to help dogs with asthma?

You can reduce your pup’s exposure to environmental triggers by keeping them away from cigarette smoke and other air pollutants, feeding a healthy diet free of processed ingredients, monitoring their activity level and providing a calm environment.

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